Just like a super hero’s shield, dental sealants protect kids’ smiles from attack – plaque attack! Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings painted on the surface of back teeth. Brushing reaches just the surface of the tooth. Sealants fill nooks and crannies so decay can’t invade.
Every person is different, but sealants can last for more than 5 years. Here’s what you need to know about sealants’ staying power:
• Chipping is normal.
Small sections of surplus sealant may come off during the few days following application. This is normal! And over the following years, sealants will naturally break down. Considering the pressure back teeth experience from daily eating and chewing, it’s surprising sealants stay strong for so long!
• Factors affect lifespan.
Because sealants are applied to chewing chompers, teeth grinding and bite patterns play a part. Sticky, hard and/or crunchy foods may shorten their longevity, and acidic food and drinks, like pasta sauce and soda, can also cause coatings to breakdown faster.
• Maintenance is minimal.
No additional appointments are necessary. Sealants are checked during regular dental exams. Don’t worry if portions of plastic have fallen out of place—the dentist and hygienist can reapply the missing pieces.
It’s simple to see why sealants succeed: They take minutes to apply, they’re painless and the results are powerful—dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth, where 9 in 10 cavities occur. Be sure to visit with your dentist about sealants for your kids.